In the modern world of increasing overcomplexity, more and more people learn anew how to appreciate minimalism. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about clothes, watches, or simply the way of thinking – simplicity seems to be the new sophistication in all areas of life. And, to prove that it is possible to get a simple-but-beautiful looking timepiece without breaking the bank, I have prepared the list of best minimalist watches under 100 dollars.
So, where exactly does the idea for this article come from? Well, in everyday life I’m a very minimalistic person myself. Being a huge fan of old school and classic watches, it hurts me a bit that nowadays many of newly-released timepieces more resemble wrist computers than wristwatches. It has come to this point that for some you actually need a manual to know how to tell the time. Madness.
If you share the same view and prefer simplicity over needless flash, there’s a strong chance at least one of the watches below will cater to your taste. If it does, make sure to let me know in the comments section at the bottom of this article. Let’s cut to the chase now.
Best Minimalist Watches Under 100 (Reviewed)
Timex is and has always been full of splendid minimalistic watches, especially the Timex Weekender collection. The T2P4959 model listed here is a prime example of that.
The mechanisms of the watch are powered by a quartz movement, ensuring really good precision at a very little cost.
With a 40mm case, the watch is a fit both for men and women as it looks great on wrists of all sizes. When it comes to the strap, it’s made of soft genuine leather that includes a traditional buckle clasp. The color is dark brown but just like with any other Timex Weekender model, the strap is easy to replace and Timex has plenty of those available for peanuts.
The watch presents a really simplistic cream dial that many, especially the fans of the series, appreciate a lot. Overall, it’s really easy to read. Perhaps the only thing I’d change about it is the color of the second hand which is a bit too similar to the dial for my liking. Some might find it difficult to read, especially in dim light. Luckily, Timex’s proprietary Indiglo Light-Up feature helps with time-reading after dusk.
Crucially, the dial window is made of a durable mineral crystal glass, thus offering a decent level of scratch resistance. This is hardly a given when it comes to minimalist watches under $100 so again, well done Timex.
On the waterproofing front, Timex T2P4959J has a water-resistance rated at 30m. In other words, it’s suitable for occasional splashes of water during everyday use but going for a swim would probably be asking too much of it.
Next on the list of the best minimalist watches under 100 bucks is this simplistic, yet beautiful timepiece from Nixon. The all-black A045-001 model belongs to the Time Teller collection which is one of the most popular released to date by the US company.
Similar to the Timex model above, it uses quartz movement. Reliable precision is ensured by Miyota, one of the world’s renowned battery-powered movement types.
With the Time Teller line, Nixon has planned the watches to have a classic silhouette with a modern spin. It’s fair to say, this one has both.
Again, the 37mm stainless steel case of this model means it’s going to look neat on any type and size of wrists – men or women. This minimalistic watch comes with a 5-link stainless steel jewelry style bracelet with sliding buckle closure. The 3-hand black dial of the watch is protected by a hardened mineral crystal glass, ensuring solid durability at a modest price.
What’s definitely impressive about this Nixon watch is the water-resistance level. At 10ATM (or 100m), you can easily go for a swim without having to worry about any damage. One issue I have with it is the lack of a backlight or luminous hands.
The first of three awesome minimalistic models by Stührling. The New York-based watchmaker is known for producing neat-looking timepieces that look way beyond their moderate pricing, as you can in the image above.
Like any other timepiece on this list, it’s run on a quartz movement. This time the type is Hattori’s PC32 Japanese movement. Like in the case of most quartz movements originating from Japan, it’s rock solid.
As far as the design is concerned, it’s probably the most flashy model I included on the list – mostly due to its shiny, gold color. The watch comes with a 38mm stainless steel case, making it suitable for people with different wrist types. The bracelet is made from the same material and includes a push-button deployment clasp.
The dial includes 3 hands, 2 of which are luminescent, allowing for comfortable viewing after dusk. At 3 o’clock there’s also a date calendar. The dial window is made from Krysterna Crystal glass. The material is widely used by Stührling in most of their collections and is just as reliable as mineral glass.
Similar to the Nixon watch above, the water resistance is rated at 100m. You can feel super safe about taking it for a short (or not so short!) swim.
Since we have already discussed the first minimalistic Stührling watch, let’s immediately dive into the next one. The 3997Z model listed here is another budget timepiece that will bring a sleek elegance to any wrist.
The timepiece provides a simplistic design that accentuates without overcomplicating and, just like the previous picks, is battery-powered. It uses the very same Japanese quartz movement as the golden model above.
The low profile design consists of a slightly bigger stainless steel case (40mm) and a calfskin leather strap with the classic tang buckle closure. The color of the strap you see here is dark brown but the watch is available with a few different variations.
The 3 white hands are luminous and, along with the silver hour markers, look the perfect fit for the black dial. Similar to the model above, it also includes a date calendar window at 3 o’clock. The dial window is again made form Krysterna Crystal and should stand the test of time with regular, everyday use.
The water resistance of this model sits at 100M (10ATM) and it’s considered okay for short swimming sessions. At the same time, you shouldn’t forget that leather straps, in general, wear off quicker when in frequent contact with water.
Although Citizen is mostly renowned for their proprietary line of Eco-Drive watches, the Japanese brand has also a lot to boast about when it comes to minimalistic, regular quartz timepieces. The BF0580-06E model seems to back that statement with aplomb.
Like all Citizen watches, this one uses Japanese quartz movement. The case size of this watch is just north of 40mm and it’s one of the thickest on this list. Naturally, it’s made from stainless steel and, combined with the black Croco-embossed leather strap, it will look extremely elegant on any wrist. This model uses the standard buckle clasp.
The black dial includes 3 luminous hands, as well as a day and date calendar at 3 o’clock. It’s protected by a durable mineral crystal glass that’s available in most Citizen models in the low-to-mid price range.
The watch is water-resistant although the rating is just 3ATM. This, combined with the fact that it comes with a leather strap, means it’s okay for occasional splashes of water (ie. washing hands) but no more than that.
Fossil is another brand that gives us an embarrassment of riches when it comes to minimalist watches under 100 bucks. In fact, the FS5463 model you see above belongs to a collection called the Minimalist – exclusively designed for those in love with simplistic design at bargain-basement prices.
This elegant quartz watch comes with a noticeably bigger stainless steel case (44mm). Hence, it’s probably best suited for people with mid-to-large wrists although it shouldn’t look out of place on any. The dark brown strap is made from genuine leather and comes with a classic tang buckle clasp.
The white dial boasts a very simple yet highly appealing design, with 3 rose gold luminous watch hands and Roman hour markers. Like most Fossil watches in this price range, it uses scratch-resistant mineral crystal glass.
In the case of this watch, the water resistance is rated at 5ATM (50m). It’s probably okay for recreational swimming in shallow water. At the same time, bear in mind that the leather band is prone to damage when in frequent contact with water.
The A1051524 model is another of the cheap Nixon watches created with minimalists in mind. It belongs to the Sentry Leather collection that has well over 20 minimalistic models with different color variations available.
Like my previous Nixon pick, the watch uses the Japanese quartz movement by Miyota.
Similar to the Fossil timepiece above, this one comes with a fairly big stainless steel case (42mm). The version of the watch I included here has a dark brown leather band with a tang buckle but the Sentry collection has plenty of other variations to select from.
The combination of the stainless steel case and leather strap provides a classic look whereas the navy blue watch face adds a modern twist to it. The dial is protected by scratch-resistant mineral crystal glass, ensuring safety during everyday use.
On the waterproofing front, the watch boasts a 100m (or 10ATM) water resistance. If it wasn’t for the leather strap, going even for longer swimming sessions wouldn’t do any harm. But, because the straps made from leather are much more prone to defects than any other material, I’d still advise to take it off before going in the water.
The second Citizen watch on the list and by no means is it any less visually-appealing than the previous pick. In fact, both models are strikingly similar in many aspects.
The BI5000-01A analog model is naturally powered by a Japanese quartz movement.
The 39mm stainless steel case makes sure it will look awesome on any wrist size. Similar to the previous Citizen model, this one also comes with a Croco-embossed leather strap with the standard, simple tang buckle closure.
The white theme of the watch face blends beautifully with the black leather band and, combined with the silver luminous hands and hour markers, makes it a great fit for any outfit or occasion. The dial includes a date calendar at 3 o’clock. Also, it’s yet another minimalistic watch on this list using a mineral crystal glass, protecting the wearer from damage during everyday use.
In this case, the water resistance is rated at 5ATM. It’s probably okay for short swimming sessions in shallow water. Nevertheless, because of the leather band, I’d be cautious about doing so too often.
The last of Stührling timepieces on the list. Just like the previous two picks, because of its minimalistic design, it pairs perfectly with both casual and professional attire, making it a great budget choice for all occasions.
Powered by a reliable Japanese quartz movement, the watch is very precise. It boasts a 42mm stainless steel case, making it a great option for people with mid-to-large wrists sizes. The milanese mesh band is made from the same material and includes a deployment clasp closure.
The watch comes with a navy blue face and 3 luminous hands. There’s also the quick set date window for the easiest functionality possible. Like most Stührling timepieces, it uses Krysterna Crystal glass for the dial protection.
As far as water resistance is concerned, the 555M.04 model scores an okay rating of 5ATM (50m). Considering the fact that the watch is fully made from stainless steel, brief swimming sessions in shallow water are absolutely fine.
Closing the list of best minimalist watches under 100 is this beautiful timepiece from another US brand, Skagen. Started in 1989 as a Danish watch company, Skagen is now part of the Fossil organization and brings lots of neat looking, low budget timepieces to the table.
Like all minimalist watches I have covered up to this point, this Skagen model uses a Japanese quartz movement. Both the 42mm case and mesh band are made from stainless steel, providing great durability and style at the same time. The closure uses a fold-over clasp with hidden push-button, making it hardly visible from the outside.
The gunmetal watch face consists of the luminous hour and minute hands, as well as a sub-dial with the 24-hour format. The dial window is made from mineral crystal glass for solid protection against damage.
Thanks to the stainless steel body and water resistance up to 50m, the watch is safe to take for short recreational swimming.